Implementation Intention

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In James Clear’s new book, Atomic Habits, he discusses the concept of implementation intention. Simply put, this is a statement that puts into words your plans for executing a new habit. As he puts it, “when situation X arises, I will perform response Y.”

This same formulation can be put to good use when it comes to data management. I often hear my clients say “I can’t find the time to clean up the data in the database.” While this may true, a clear implementation intention might help address this issue on a daily basis. Here’s my suggestion:

“When staff is in the database working on a record, staff will check the record for accuracy and completeness, confirming that data is complete in the following areas: [e.g., address, phone, email, key demographics].”

They key to building a good habit is clearly stating what the habit is, and when the habit will be executed. Many of my clients know this, but the piece that is missing is “clearly stating” the intention. I recommend giving this a try in your association.

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